AVIVA Valparaiso offers those experiencing memory loss security, dignity, and independence

AVIVA Valparaiso offers those experiencing memory loss security, dignity, and independence

Almost 6 million Americans will be directly impacted by memory loss at some point in their lives, and millions more will feel the effect as their loved ones, friends, and family are affected. When memory loss begins, it’s important to have somewhere affected persons are able to live comfortably and with dignity while receiving the support they need. For the Region, one such place is AVIVA Valparaiso.

AVIVA Valparaiso is an assisted living facility in Valparaiso that dedicates itself to providing clients with top-quality service each day. Its memory care neighborhood offers 24-hour assistance, respite care, and on-site nurses while also providing special programming specifically to combat memory loss. AVIVA Valparaiso is able to treat residents effectively thanks to its individualized approach to care.

“Memory care really encompasses a large amount of different cognitive disabilities, many of which are terminal. That's a very hard thing for someone to be diagnosed with and for their families to support them through,” said AVIVA Valparaiso Memory Care Director Elizabeth “Liz” Summers. “Our memory care facility is here to help residents from start to finish through that journey. As residents and families move into different stages of the disease process, we give them support.”

The support begins with building a sense of community. AVIVA Valparaiso's memory care residents are placed in their own neighborhoods in private apartments. This gives residents a place to call home that’s truly theirs. Residents are also given the independence to choose which activities they want to participate in.

“They have their own apartments, and they get to run their own schedules,” Summers said. “We offer activities seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. or later. That includes exercise programming to promote health, fall prevention, and one-to-one time with me doing individualized therapeutic cognitive time. The goal is to give residents a home where they feel dignity and independence.”

Another aspect of maintaining independence and dignity for residents is fostering the relationships between AVIVA Valparaiso’s residents and the Valparaiso community as a whole. Many residents have lived in Valparaiso all their lives and remain active in the community.

“It's really important to me that our residents still feel part of a community that they helped create and that they have lived in for decades,” Summers said. “They're still part of the community that they raised their families in.”

This is accomplished through partnerships with many community resources and organizations, such as local businesses in downtown Valparaiso and the high school, which sends volunteers to entertain and help out at AVIVA Valparaiso. 

AVIVA Valparaiso also encourages family relationships with the help of inclusive programming and education opportunities.

“I think one of the very unique things about us is that our families are also a part of our neighborhood,” Summers said. “Most of our activities are catered for things the residents and their families can do together.”

AVIVA Valparaiso also offers plenty of opportunities for families to learn more about memory loss and how they can support their loved ones on this journey.

“We have a once-a-month support meeting here in our building where we invite community members to connect with community doctors, elder attorneys, and other resources the family may not be aware of,” Summers said. “Families should feel comfortable calling in when they need somebody to give them a little help.”

The biggest thing Summers stresses that makes AVIVA Valparaiso’s memory care neighborhood unique, however, is the acknowledgment that residents are still capable adults. A lot of effort goes into making residents feel respected.

“No matter what stage you are at in memory, you're capable of doing so much. Our goal here is to give people with cognitive limitations a neighborhood of people that understand them, where they feel safe, where they feel like they're part of the neighborhood,” Summers said. “There are still capabilities in everyone, but there’s also help if you need it.”

To learn more about AVIVA Valparaiso’s memory care neighborhood or to view available living arrangements, visit its website.